A while ago, I realised the girls' passports were on the point of expiry. Being the active, coordinated, organised person that I am, I waited until they had both completely expired, and then filled in various forms online to begin the renewal process.
I then put the passports back with the savings books, made a mental note of the fact Mog's SGO paper wasn't with them, and waited for the prefilled forms to arrive in the post.
Meanwhile, letters arrived warning me the girls' blue badges were due to run out, and inviting me to apply early for replacements, as they could take ten weeks.
These I shelved with the passport applications
Interlude for spinal surgery, convalescence, and a sick Mog.
And then a sudden, panicked realisation that the blue badges (disability parking permits) were due to run out next week, and that the 8 week renewal period would not condense itself into 8 days.
Fun fact: to renew an application for a blue badge now requires more documentation than a passport renewal.
For tLP's passport application, I must supply one form, correctly filled in, one expired passport, two photos countersigned on the back, and a fat cheque for sum as yet undetermined.
For tLP's blue badge renewal, I must fill out one form online, and consent to the powers that be contacting her school for proof that she really does live here. I must supply proof that she she is physically disabled. I must supply a passport photo. And a birth certificate or copy of her adoption order. And a cheque for five times as much as the badge used to cost.
For Mog I need also to supply a copy of her special guardianship order for her blue badge, and the original SGO for her passport.
Blue badge being more urgent than a passport, I decide to focus on these forms first. They take me three days. I am invited to pay electronically. I do so, only to be told online payments (the one they just collected all my credit card info for) are not possible. Frustration.
So, Blue Badge paperwork eventually collated, 14 digit tracking order attached to each pile of paperwork together with note explaining special guardianship. And then the memory that the SGO paper was not with the passports.
Nor is it with the other pile of important documents. Not in the filing cabinet, not in the emergency paperwork stash behind the computer, not in the Very Important Stuff drawer in the dresser, not in any of the book cases...you get the picture.
A thought. We always take it with us when we travel abroad; it is the proof that I am one of Mog's parents. The passports came home but the SGO did not; could it be with my friend and travel mate's paperwork?
Problem. It's been six months since we travelled, and friend has some memory problems at the moment.
Amazingly; friend puts her hands on the SGO within 2 minutes of my phone call, and brings it round.
Paperwork finally complete, I am about to seal the envelope, when I realise sending the SGO off with the blue badge applications will mean I cannot apply for a passport for another 8 weeks. Not that we have travel plans, but I do like to think we might one day.
So a further delay whilst we run to the library to photocopy essential documents. And finally, finally, the Blue Badge paperwork is on its way.
Meanwhile, I attempt to fill in the passport applications. And immediately manage to invalidate one form by signing in the wrong box, and the other by putting a Date of Birth instead of a Date of Signing. Deep sigh. And off to the post office for new forms.
So, new forms signed. Friend primed to ID the photos. Two neat envelopes with everything we need. Just need to add the expired passports.
The expired passports which I haven't seen in any of the mammoth paperwork hunt I've done over the past couple of days. The expired passports which I put in a safe place with the savings books.
Anyone seen them?
And will I find them before I lose the application forms, or before tLP runs over the photographs again?
Can it please be September soon?